|Share Our Stories! - Click Here|
Company Admits Your iRobot Is Spying on YOU
By Ted Twietmeyer
It has been suspected for some time that iRobot smart vacuums (and probably those of other manufacturers) are spying on users.
Below is the un-edited proof straight from the company's just-released "privacy update" on 2/13/2020. I have left out all the personal and financial info the company admits they take:
START OF EXTRACTED INFO...
"Information We Collect from Registered Devices Equipped with Smart Technology."
"Some of our Robots are equipped with smart technology which allows the Robots to transmit data wirelessly to the Service."
" Robot and App usage data. When you register your Robot with the online App, we collect information about the Robot, such as a Robot name and device number, and information about the Robot and/or App usage, such as battery life and health."
"Robot environment information. Certain Robot models are equipped to collect information about the environment in which the Robot is deployed. For example, the Robot collects information about the level of dirt detection and the Wi-Fi signal strength in each location and information about its movement throughout the environment to create a location 'map' of the Robot's domain and the existence and type of objects (chair, desk, fridge etc.) or obstacles encountered."
"iRobot Beta Program. You can opt-in to the iRobot Beta Program made available within the App, which enable additional experimental Robot and/or App functionality. Certain features require additional data collection in order to support that particular feature. Each feature in the Beta Program requires your opt-in permission to enable that functionality. The information required to support that Beta feature is not collected or used as part of the iRobot Beta Program unless you choose to participate. Any information collected under this program is subject to the same or functionally similar physical, administrative and technological safeguards as other mission-related information collected under normal Robot use."
"The table at ANNEX 2 sets out the categories of personal information we collect from you and your Robot when you allow your Robot to transmit such information to us, and how we use that information."
[MORE ON ANNEX 2 LATER]
"Our Robots do not transmit this information unless you register your Robot online and connect to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or connect to the internet via another method. It is possible to use our smart technology Robots without Wi-Fi or Bluetooth data transmission, simply by disconnecting your Wi-Fi or Bluetooth from the Robot or by never connecting it at all. You can also choose through your settings in the App to not to have map data transmitted to us."
END OF EXTRACTED INFO
Problem with disconnecting is that it can disable features, such as smart phone remote control of the robot. But this is not stated in Annex 2.
Note the phrase "mission-related information collected under normal Robot use." What is that mission? Spying on you?
Note the phrase used "unless you register you Robot online" with a wireless method. But we have heard statements like this before by other companies. Like statement that claimed you could turn off the microphone in a computer or smart TV, but in reality did not.
'[Other Personal Information] Robot environment information. Information about the spaces where you use your Robot, such as floorplans, types of objects (detected using the camera on your Robot) along with a corresponding confidence factor for that object and its location, the location and confidence factor of Wi-Fi devices connected to your local network, and Wi-Fi heat maps. '
END OF ANNEX 2
A 'Wi-Fi heat map' is also known as a signal strength map.
Floor plans, camera-detected objects and CONFIDENCE FACTOR OF Wi-Fi devices are included. A potential thief can use floor plans and objects like a road map during a break-in. Hackers can use confidence factor (Wi-Fi security info) information to help hack your network.
Other than hackers and thieves, who can use all this data the robot is collecting and sending to the company, and probably covertly selling your private personal data to the government? Intelligence agencies can use all the data to help plan a covert entry into a home or business.
Repeatedly-compromised credit bureaus proved that not even those companies can safeguard your personal info. They should be employing the highest levels of security of any company. Yet iRobot customers now supposed to believe iRobot will keep everything private and secure, and will not share any data with government?